January 15, 2008
Researchers from the University of Minnesota have transplanted cells to rebuild the diseased heart of a rat and get it to start beating.
They took the heart of a dead rat and washed it out, leaving only a clear, translucent shell of a heart.
Then they injected that so-called "shell" with living heart cells from a baby rat.
A few weeks later, the heart was actually beating on its own.
The director of the University of Virginia Heart Transplant Center says researchers are onto something good.
"If you could grow hearts then you would have organ shortages you could do hearts, kidneys, livers, whatever and we wouldn't have all these lists of waiting for organ transplants," said Dr. James Bergin.